The United States Postal Service will honor Ray Charles with his own postage stamp later this month as part of its Music Icons Forever series. The limited-edition stamp will be available starting on September 23, which would have been the late music legend's 83rd birthday.
In conjunction with the stamp's debut, a retrospective CD/DVD set titled Ray Charles Forever will be released on September 24. The CD will feature 12 tracks, including covers of such memorable tunes as "A Song for You," "Come Rain or Come Shine," "Imagine" and "America the Beautiful." The DVD will offer 20 minutes' worth of footage, including rare concert performances of "Imagine," "They Can't Take That Away from Me" and "A Song for You," as well as vintage interviews with Ray.
A special deluxe edition of Ray Charles Forever offering a bonus track, "I Didn't Know What Time It Was," will be sold exclusively at many post offices across the U.S., and online at USPS.com and eBay.com/Stamps. In addition, launch events commemorating the arrival of the new stamp and compilation will be hosted by the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles, the Ray Charles Performing Arts Center at Morehouse College in Atlanta, and numerous other locations.
Ray Charles Foundation president Valerie Ervin served as executive producer of the CD/DVD collection. She notes that while tunes such as "Georgia on My Mind," "Hit the Road Jack," "What'd I Say" and "I've Got a Woman" are among Charles' "many hits that are standards and meet the test of time…to mark this momentous occasion, I selected songs that also exemplify the forever quality of his performances."
Charles died in June 2004 at age 73 from complications of liver disease.
Here's the complete track list of the Ray Charles Forever CD:
"Song for You"
"I'm Gonna Move to the Outskirts of Town"
"Ring of Fire"
"Come Rain or Come Shine"
"They Can't Take That Away from Me"
"Till There Was You"
"Isn't It Wonderful"
"None of Us Are Free"
"If I Could"
"So Help Me God"
"America the Beautiful"
"I Didn't Know What Time It Was" (bonus track)
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